joyce (joyce) wrote,
joyce
joyce

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So late last fall, Jeff started talking about wanting a bike. We talked and talked and did some research and talked and pondered, and I decided that my also having a bike would be good: it would make me more mobile, get me more exercise, and it would be something nice to do together. He finally found one that he decided he wanted, and got it, and after some wibbling and complaining bitterly about being short, I ended up with the same model, just the women's bike. (I have since wished that I had gotten the men's version, as the only appreciable difference is the angle of the front bar and the lack of mounts for a water bottle holder. I've no plans of doing much bike riding in a skirt (if I ride it to school, I can chance when I get there) and the lack of water bottle holder is freaking annoying.) We had to replace the seat post to make it fit me, so I don't have the nice suspension post that came with it, but this bike with a new seat post was a better fit than some of the other things we tried, unless I wanted to get into real money for a bike, which right now, we didn't.

So, anyhow. We hadn't had a chance to actually go out on a ride together. First we had to wait for my bike to get here, then we had to get the post for mine and install it, and blah blah stuff. I wanted to wait until I'd been out with Jeff, in case I managed to kill myself on it (with my utter lack of balance, this wasn't out of the realm of possibility) so I hadn't ridden it to campus this week. Then yesterday it spent most of the day pouring rain.

So we finally got to go out today. I'm glad I waited to go with Jeff, because I needed to get him to explain the gearing to me, again. And having company was nice. I'll probably try to ride up to campus a couple times this week, though even with the big nasty lock I bought, I'm mildly leary about leaving my bike on-campus. I'll get over it. (Note to self, send of paperwork asap for lock company's theft guarantee.)

We were out about 45 minutes, of which probably about 30 of that was spent actually biking, and the rest talking about gears and seat adjustments that need to be made and stuff. We just rode out and up the hill and through frat court and out the bike path and around the parking lot of undergrad admissions for awhile. It was a lot of fun, and I can see how people get addicted to this, and quickly.

Things I learned today:

- Gear changes will feel kind of abrupt. Just keep peddling through it.
- Go through the gears slowly. Don't try to jump five gears at once.
- You can get up that hill. Low gear and slow does it.
- And if you can't, there's no harm in walking the bike up the hill.
- You have to be hyper aware on a bike, much more than when you're a pedestrian. When you're a pedestrian, you just have to stop at intersections and make sure you aren't getting ready to walk under a car, and you're set. On a bike, I'm moving faster than I have under my own power in a few years, and it requires being aware of what's going on around me.
- I am not ready to deal with roads that get any major amounts of traffic yet. Cars are scary. Sidewalks, quiet roads, and bike paths are good.
- Carry water, even on short rides.
- The braid is definitely the way to go for getting the hair under the helmet.
Tags: biking
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